Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Telephone (07/17/08)
TITLE: Ignorance And Stupid
By M. R. Davenport
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“Hello,” a soft, feminine voice spoke. “You have reached Eknor, Rance, Stew and Pit, attorneys at law. Your call is important to us so please stay on the line. If you know you’re parties extension…Well good for you. Most people have already hung up by now anyway.” Harry took the phone away from his head and looked at it. He put it back, a bewildered expression on his face.
She continued. “While you wait, please select from our fine menu of different options. If you would like to listen to redneck music, press one now. If you prefer a more sophisticated venue, press two now for classical stuff that makes you feel like you’re trapped in a broken elevator falling at the speed of sound. If you like hip hop music, press three and you will be connected to our staff psychiatrist. If…Boy I sure say ‘if’ a lot don’t I?” Harry smiled. He realized he was smiling and forced a frown.
“Let’s use a different word…” she said. Harry hung up.
“What kind of nonsense is that?” He asked, looking at the phone. Harry looked around for the phone book. He couldn’t find it. “It was just here!” He got mad and hit redial. “I’ll push zero. That’ll take me to an operator.” He punched the redial and waited. And waited. And waited. At length, there was an answer.
“Hello, you have reached…Oh for crying out loud. You know who you called. What do you want?” She said.
“Who is this?” Harry yelled. He looked at the phone again like he expected it to laugh at him. He put it back to his ear. “This has to be a real person.”
“Hi there!” She said.
“Who are you?”
“If you would like to hear a list of other items that are not on our menu, press five now…” Harry pressed five.
“Hello, you have reached our menu of items not on the menu. Press 6 to return to the menu with something on it.” Harry’s eyes rolled, humor creeping into them. He pressed zero, glancing around his apartment to see if he was on camera.
“Hello, you have pressed zero. Presumably you did this to reach the operator. Ha, we don’t have one. We don’t need one, we have me.” Her voice raising wickedly. “Please press you parties extension.”
Harry decided that most extensions would be a three digit number. He pressed eight, nine and zero. The phone went silent. “I got ‘er, finally!” He found it odd that he was celebrating a victory over a recorded voice. But it was a premature celebration.
Suddenly there was noise in the back ground like a large group of people talking and carousing. “Hi there, good looking. You’ve reached the ‘partaay’ extension…” He chuckled out loud. He was mad, but this was too insane not to laugh at. “If you have reached this party by mistake, please press a different extension number now.” Harry pressed one, one, one.
“Hello, you have reached Eknor, Rance, Stew and Pit. This extension number does not exist. Nice guess. You will be transferred to Mr. Stew and Mr. Pit’s office. They make a great team and can probably serve you best.”
Harry smiled. “I’m getting somewhere.”
“While you are being transferred to Stew and Pit, you should know that if you lose your case, it’s gonna cost you a mint. Anyway, thanks and enjoy your consultation. Which, by the way, is not free either.” The voice disappeared.
He smiled. Boy, they sure put a lot of time and effort into that, he thought. The phone rang a few times, then someone picked up. “Rance and Pit, this is Susan. May I help you?”
“Well, Susan.” He said smiling. “That there’s some recording service you have. Rather ingenious.”
“I’m sorry sir. We have no service like that. The phone rings directly to me.” The line went quiet for a minute. She spoke again. “Is there something I can help you with?”
Harry thought for a minute. “You know what…I have no idea why I called.” He laughed loudly enough to make Susan wince. “You have a nice day,” he said and hung up the phone.
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